By Genalyn Kabiling
The government’s peace initiative with communist rebels now comes with a dinner invitation to President Duterte’s residence.
The President has called on the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to stop the attacks on government troops and offered to dine with them at his home.
“Kayong mga NPA and those in the boondocks, you can come down and have dinner with me in my house, as long as we stop fighting,” the President said in a press conference upon arrival from a shortened visit to Russia.
But if the NPA insurgents refuse to lay down their arms, the President cautioned that the government is not inclined to sign any peace pact with the communist group.
Duterte said he hates waging war against fellow Filipinos but would be forced to do it if the rebels continue to attack troops and vital installations.
“What do you want, another 50 years of fighting? I do not want it. I loathe it. I hate it. I hate killing Filipinos,” he said.
“But do not give me no option because we are prepared, government is prepared to wage war for another 50 years, or at least during my term. I will not allow government to be playing a secondary role. Nothing of the sort and I will not allow it,” he said.
The government and the communist negotiators are expected to hold another round of peace talks in the Netherlands this week to tackle the proposed bilateral ceasefire and socio-economic reform agenda.